Becoming a beauty queen was not the original plan of Bea Rose Santiago, who won the Miss International title in 2013.
“My dream was to be a super model,” she told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the recent Red Gala Charity event.
Back in Canada, where she and her family moved ten years ago, she joined the prestigious Elite Model Management.
Bea resumed, “I wanted to be Kate Moss. She’s the shortest supermodel. Her style is very unique.
“She’s being adored by a lot of people. The designers loved her, so I wanted to be like her before.
“It was actually my mom’s dream for me to join a beauty pageant.”
Besides wishing to see her mom's dreams come true, Bea revealed that she joined Binibining Pilipinas because she needed money.
“I was very independent before. I don’t wanna ask money from the government or from my parents.
“Then after that, I loved it. The experience is awesome.
“I fell in love with the competition, the stage, me on the stage.
"You know parang it’s like acting for me.
“It was fun.”
WHY SHE FIRST SHUNNED BEAUTY PAGEANTS. Why Bea was hesitant to join beauty pageants?
It's because of the question and answer portion.
“It used to scare me a lot!”
But eventually she found herself joining Mutya Ng Pilipinas, Binibining Pilipinas, and Miss International.
Smiling, she recalled, “I was 22 when I joined a pageant, I am well-experienced, I can say whatever I want without me being scared, without being conscious.
“And I guess when I was 22, I am ready to speak, and experience-wise, I am ready.
“So, that’s the reason why it took me a long time to join beauty pageant," said the 25-year-old beauty titlist.
THE CHANGES. Bea's beauty-queen status has changed the way she dresses up.
“You will be looked up to by young kids, by supporters, so we have to dress well.
“Now I have to be more ladylike.
“My favorite is open-toe shoes. It makes me feel sexy, unlike before when I was always in black boots.
“Before, I didn’t wear a lot of accessories.
"Now, accessories are my favorite.
“As a beauty queen, it is okay to wear something shiny.
“I like to wear shiny dresses now, something with crystals, with diamonds."
Bea has become more careful about what she posts on social media as well.
"Whatever you say, you have to mean it.
“You have to mind everything you do."
Does she find it hard to be a beauty queen?
"Yes. When I went for training, I thought it was nothing.
“Now, I just have to wear more make-up, fix my hair more than usual, learn a few tricks."